Industry News

Airbnb set for move into experience ticketing 

Ian Nuttall, founder of TheTicketingBusiness, said he believes Airbnb will kick off a wave of travel and tourism firms moving into the live entertainment and experience ticketing sector.

An “Amazon-sized opportunity” in selling experiences has opened up, according to Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky, USA Today reports.

Airbnb’s Experiences programme was introduced in 2016 and designed to meet the needs of its traveling customers to get involved in an activity on their trips.

“There’s going to be another economy, and it will be the experience economy. You’ll see these modern-day, bite-sized apprenticeships, where you’re exposed to something new,” said Chesky in an interview with USA TODAY.

While the Wall Street Journal reported Airbnb’s Experiences has lost more than $100m since it was launched, Chesky claims the numbers are wrong.

Airbnb currently offers 5,000 Experiences, with Chesky saying it has 55,000 on the waiting list.

“I’ve purposefully held the growth back because I wanted it to be amazing,” he said.

Much like Chesky’s belief that Experiences is the future, Nuttall thinks the industry of experience ticketing is already on the way.

He said: “It will happen … adding on tickets at point of purchase or prior to departure is one of the few still untapped added value opportunities for travel and tour operators.

“We’ve already seen the likes of Ryanair and Expedia dabbling. There’s more to follow as the travel giants link their sales channels via APIs into live entertainment inventory.”

Research from Phocuswright, a global travel market research company, found that one in five US travellers purchase tickets to a concert, sporting event or theatre performance while on a trip.

Last month it was announced that launched its Event Tickets feature to link travellers with concerts, theatre and sporting events. The new service provides users with tickets to more than 95,000 concerts, theatres, festivals, tournaments, sporting events and comedy shows.

Meanwhile, late last year, Ryanair launched its Tickets service and dubbed it a “natural fit with travel”. The low-cost airline partnered with ticketing agency Coras to launch its events ticketing arm, in which Ryanair customers can now buy tickets for theatre, music and sporting events across Europe on the website.

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